A recent anti-abortion bill signed into law by Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant threatens to close the state’s only abortion clinic. That, in turn, could force women to turn to dangerous alternatives, including “coat hanger” abortions. Mississippi state Rep. Bubba Carpenter, however, seemed largely unconcerned that without the clinic, women may choose to perform the potentially deadly procedure on themselves.
“Three blocks from the Capitol sits the only abortion clinic in the state of Mississippi,” Carpenter, a Republican, said at an Alcorn County GOP meeting last week. “A bill was drafted. It said, if you would perform an abortion in the state of Mississippi, you must be a certified OB-GYN and you must have admitting privileges to a hospital. Anybody here in the medical field knows how hard it is to get admitting privileges to a hospital. It’s going to be challenged, of course, in the Supreme Court and all—but literally, we stopped abortion in the state of Mississippi, legally, without having to—Roe vs. Wade. So we’ve done that. I was proud of it. The governor signed it into law. And of course, there you have the other side. They’re like, ‘Well, the poor pitiful women that can’t afford to go out of state are just going to start doing them at home with a coat hanger.’ That’s what we’ve heard over and over and over. But hey, you have to have moral values.”
MSNBC host Rachel Maddow spoke with Carpenter about his remarks (seen below in their entirety). —TEB
The Maddow Blog:
I got a chance to ask Representative Carpenter about the coat hanger part today. “That was what a lot of our critics on the House floor said during the debate,” he told me. “That was just some language that some of the African-Americans used.” A few white Democrats also spoke out about the old “home remedies,” he remembered, but in the end the measure passed with support from several Democrats.
The owner of the state’s lone clinic says she’ll sue to block the law, which takes effect July 1, if her doctors can’t get admitting privileges.